Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

the reap

You reap what you sow, that's what those wise folk tell us, and for me at the moment - it's harvesting season.

I've had a lot of trouble at my work this year. Between shuffling roles, and the displacement that has caused; a delusional office 'romance' that never left the ground and shall we say - personality clashes, I've had a bit of a rough time.  Nonetheless, it's a roller coaster that I've been doing my best to ride with grace. Every time I think I can't take anymore, I survive another week and battle on for that looming long-service-leave that keeps me hanging onto the nastiest of cliff-faces.

The inner turmoil has had it's ever flowing affect on my home life, my health and my self esteem. Everything with Manchild and the feelings that accompanied this massive failure in discernment had me doubting myself.  Allowing myself to shrink, and feel this need to be wanted, was nothing short of disturbing. How could I be so willing to hand my power to someone else? At the time, I'd heard about the transformative power of one simple thought; that is: "I am enough". I clung to this like a lifeboat; if I saw it enough, if I thought it enough, if I repeated it enough - perhaps like magic, it would help put together these broken parts of myself. I purchased myself a mantra bracelet, and etched into it three words: You. Are. Enough.

I took that bracelet off yesterday. Prematurely perhaps? The bracelet caught a few peoples eye over the time I wore it - some would comment on it. And I began to think to myself - am I giving my secret away? Am I handing strangers and familiar alike the keys to my destruction? This girl has no self esteem... She thinks she's rubbish... She has no confidence... How can I exploit this? How can I convince her she's not enough? It started to feel like it could be a target. A sign saying - hey - here's my glass jaw! Come hit me! Despite the inner-voice-implied subtext, I persisted wearing it, until yesterday - when I decided that I was strong enough to do without.

It's Tuesday, and it's already been a tough work week.  I have been on the receiving end of some cool behavior, which has honestly shocked me. Manchild has been all but ignoring me - avoiding my vicinity, my eye line and anything I say. That started most intensely yesterday - and I called him out on it today, to which he denied. He was lying.

Some may say I deserve this. I've been cool with my coworkers for some time now, in the name of self-preservation I stepped back, I did not engage with people. I've been unhappy, and perhaps at times I have outwardly wallowed in this frustration. I am also a human. But, I recognise blocking these coworkers on Instagram might be seen as some kind of call to arms. I say I don't want people I work with seeing my inner most thoughts and observations, and feeling censored for it.  And if any of them should ask I'll tell them the same thing. I'm not going to apologise for wanting 'space'. If they want to stalk me, they can put in some effort and do it the old fashioned way.

But still, I thought I had remained steady with Manchild. Even after things cooled off and he lost any interest he had in me and found a real live girlfriend. Not only is he freezing me out, but he's being actively nasty and hurtful, and it's not pretty. It's not a side to him that I have seen before, and I think that has been the most shocking. It's ever so disappointing when those rose-coloured glasses come off unexpectedly, and the things you thought you knew about someone are suddenly exposed in a new light. He is nasty and angry and untrustworthy to boot. And might I add, a gutless pussy.

Perhaps I have hurt him, or perhaps this has been him all along? It's an awful thing to feel dismissed by people, and his behaviour feels as if it's rubbing off on others too. I think I'm paranoid... it's complicated. It's not helping those grasping hands on the sharp cliff-edge. Evidently I'm reaping the 'rewards' of my misery, but boy I hope it lets up soon. I refuse to let this break me.

Monday, July 11, 2016

the damage

I lost a good friend of mine to cancer recently. For the past couple of years, it was a battle that defined her, and it finally ceased on 30 June 2016. I'd learned a few days before that she was in a bad way, so the bad news just kept rolling.

I've been finding it difficult to come to terms with what a loss like this means to me, and to the wider world.  You see, she was quite a wonderful creature. A fiercely loyal friend, passionate, caring, protective and unafraid. She was the first real friend I had that used "fuck" a lot, and it delighted me.

She was the kind of person, who really wanted to know how you were going when she asked; she didn't waste words; she didn't cower away from her differences to make her life easier. She was courageous - even before the cancer. The world positively needs more people like her in it, as do I.

My grief has been tinged with the sourness of guilt.  We lived several hundred kilometres away - and since her diagnoses she would decline my haphazard requests for a catch up. I recognised that she probably didn't want me to see her, and while I respect that, I also wished I had tried harder. To add insult to injury, I couldn't attend her funeral.

M was one of those special people, you meet and you know instantly that you have found a member of your tribe.  I think, selfishly, what upsets me the most is that I won't have this wonderful spirit in my corner anymore (not physically at least). In this war called life, I have lost one of the most valuable members of my army.  I don't have a lot of people in my tribe, and M's absence is a massive void.

In a frantic letter I wrote to her before she passed, I told her that I see reminders of her everywhere.  In encounters with strangers, in bold reds, Greek reminders, moments of compassion and sharp witted folk. God, how I will miss her.

Years ago, we went to see Gotye together - the show was held in some amphitheatre in the bush.  There were so many rules - we had to abandon pillows and blankets, and we had to deal with pushy hipsters and assholes too.  At the end of the concert, as the line of cars abandoning the empty stage stretched the horizon, we parked, turned up the music - opened all the doors to the car and danced in the dark field until the cars went away. That was a very M thing to do.

The last time we saw each other in the flesh - we'd spent quite a few hours together, had a meal and a good chat, she dropped me back at my hotel, and before she left, she hugged me so hard. I was crying my eyes out, she said "I love you" and I told her I loved her back.  We held each other for such a long time.   It wasn't long after that, that she texted me with the news of her cancer.  I'm sure she knew that last time we met, I think she spared me, I think maybe she knew that was the last time we were going to see each other. I wish I'd known.

I don't know what happens to people when they die, but I refuse to believe they stop 'being'.  I hope they go somewhere nice, where they don't have any bad thoughts anymore; a place where they don't have to worry about pain, fear or loss. Where their spirit is free to flit and meander wherever it so desires. Perhaps as we live we leave invisible star dust trails woven in the people and places we encounter. I keep M in my heart, and there she shall stay for as long as I am waking.

Good bye beautiful M.



..No one's ever lost forever
When they die they go away
But they will visit you occasionally
Do not be afraid
No one's ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are
No one's ever lost forever
When they die they go away
But they will visit you occasionally
Do not be afraid
No one's ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are.

~ Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra

Saturday, April 23, 2016

lost myself, again

Look at me I’m such a basket case
Delivered to you wrapped in cellophane
Waiting on your doorstep, every day
Delivery, a basket filled with pain...
- Sia


Something snapped in me a couple of weeks ago. In the lead-up I'd been dealing with quite a bit of work stress, I'd been chatted to by my supervisor, about my 'overworrying' so I was trying so very hard, to not try so very hard - or at least make it appear that way... I understood what I was being told, but I was trying to prepare myself for any foreseeable outcome, I was trying to arm myself with every weapon in my arsenal, but I simply couldn't carry the weight. I was trying to be perfect, flawless. I was told it was unrealistic, it was unnecessary. I knew what they were saying, but I was trying to prove myself. I've been trying to prove myself my whole life.

Work has been a mixture of strange feelings for the past weeks. I'd been thrown back into a role I hadn't done in a long while, back with people I didn't necessarily mesh well with, relying on their assistance and my own skewed sense of competency. I'd also been sitting across from the source of my malignant workplace crush: Manchild. Working with him made getting out of bed in the morning easier, work more bearable and weekends became excruciatingly long. This 'crush' has also come to make a dire mess of me.

It was a Thursday, my last day in this challenging work rotation and it was set to be a long day. I was strangely well-composed, even 'chilled' on the exterior. My last hoorah - come what may! In the late afternoon, I hit a speed bump - I was overtired and frustrated. Manchild had been away for work, was due to return this afternoon, it had been three days since seeing him. As I was reaching speed on my decline, he walked in... he shouldn't have been there. My heart leapt and I was overwhelmed with the sudden desire to cry my eyes out. It was as if my very own knight in shining armor had knocked at my castle door. People talk about being unable to wipe a smile of their face - I now understood this kind of smile.

Unbeknownst to me he stayed. He stayed until I finished. He stayed for me? Then as I was collecting my things he told me he had decided to pursue a longstanding passion that would almost certainly take him out of our shared workplace, and out of our hometown. Tears were welling in my eyes.

It was like John all over again. A lesson not yet learned, manifesting in some new cruel way. I had to flee immediately. I feigned part exhaustion, but I fear even a blind soul could sense my upset, my tears freely leaking.

I had to rush to the safety of my car. Sobbing part way there - begging the Gods that I not bump into anyone I know. I got to my car and I sobbed heartily the whole way home. I'm quite surprised I actually made it home without incident. My parents could not understand why I was in the state, and neither could I really. I continued to sob in the shower, as I pleaded with God, the Angels, or whoever dared listen: please, not again.

I went to work the next day. On the drive home at the end of the day, I became a similar teary mess.


Monday rolled around, back to my old menial role...ripped from the company of Manchild, I slipped further into an ugly black hole. I started crying, in front of a coworker. I couldn't collect myself - I had to hide away in a dark room - more than once. I could hear other coworkers, including Manchild having a jolly old time in another part of the office. It seemed an added cruelty on my already frayed emotional state. Much of that day was spent fighting the urge to cry. Each evening going home, feeling ill with this darkness. Tuesday, Wednesday...fighting tears. Evidently I had lost the footing I had so solemly maintained after John, after changing jobs, after the death of my beloved pet, after so many knocks. I'd finally succumbed to the black dog again, and he had me in his jaws.

This week just passed, went by in usual fashion. I thought I had begun to make some headway - but another work incident knocked me on Wednesday, and I went down again.

I have whimpered and howled in bathroom stalls, showers and in the dark silence of 'bed-time'. I have hidden sneaky tears at customer service counters, and inhaled and exhaled the muted upset to just make it to another day. To make it to another day in which Manchild would finally declare his feelings.

"I can't do this again" is what I cried to the Divine. Wrong. I won't do this again.

Again, I have lost sight of who I am, near-drowned myself in the shadow version of me that I thought he'd like. That I thought, the 'cool-girls' would like. I've been trying to be ok with eroding myself. I'm so messed up with these muddy thoughts that I don't even remember what I'm doing from one moment to the next. I cannot believe I sabotaged myself again. I cannot believe I fooled myself again.

It's late, and right now I should be sleeping, but I needed to get this out. I had hoped to spill everything; for as sure as I know I put myself here, with my thoughts, I know also that the situation does not belong solely to me.

But most of all, with this anger-tinged clarity, I needed to write down, for the 'me' that will undoubtedly weaken momentarily again... I need to tell her - that this guy, these people, this bullshit morphing of myself is utter fucking crap. That none of it - that none of our late night imaginings, warm affections and sassy office repartee are anything other than slight of hand, smoke screen distractions from our self. I - we - started a journey of self discovery, we knew that the path to love was going to start with loving our own self - even the dark parts. I got lost. I got transported to another dimension, but I will get back to myself.

Manchild is not the answer you seek. Nor is an attentive boss, a flattering friend, an approving parent, a complimentary stranger. These archetypes are not the missing piece of the puzzle, they are not going to make everything better - the power you are assigning to these faceless figures does not exist. I know it doesn't feel like it, but this is something we must believe - we must know, that all the power we will ever need, all the love we are seeking to find is already there, inside ourselves. Believe it. Don't be distracted by anything else, because this is the only love that matters, and it is the only thing that is going to fix you. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

settle

"Settle" by Vera Blue. Exquisite.

standing on this wire
makes me realise
I am alive
and I won't settle...





Tuesday, March 22, 2016

thinking music



I'm having trouble putting words to thoughts, so here is an appropriate song in its place...
Montaigne is awesome. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

giving words wings

I do declare that someday I shall make a grand bonfire by setting alight the vast number of 'self-help' books in my possession (save for perhaps a dozen or so 'favourites').  The rising smoke shall be the chicken-soup-for-the-heavens-soul.  And I will dance around those flames with ridiculous abandon - mostly because of the space I would have created on my bookshelves, but also partly because it will signal a time when I don't feel the need to fix myself anymore.

I decided a little while ago that 2016 should be the year of big internal shifts. In order to have my life change in all the positive ways I want it to, things have to alter.  It's a multi-pronged goal, that quickly summarised would look a little like this: 
  1. Discover who I am;
  2. Be OK - nay - happy with who I am;
  3. Be confident enough to take my place in the world, as this authentic me, and
  4. Make no apologies once I get there.
That 'place' is proving a little elusive, and its distance varies from day to day.  Some days I think I'm going ok, but most days what I really want is for someone to side-step into my world, and flip that fucking switch for me.  And the truth at the heart of everything I've been trying to say, since I started forming words, is that all I really want is to be loved like I've never been loved before, and I want to feel, be and emit the glow of that glorious love like no one before me.

supreme source

Everyone deserves that, right? Isn't that why we're here?